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Ben Lewis talks to Kirsty Lang

The Last Leonardo

Hay Festival 2019, 

The art historian forensically retraces the history of Leonardo da Vinci’s small oil painting, the Salvator Mundi, which was sold in 2017 for $450 million. The painting is a prism through which we can understand the highs and lows of the art world, experiencing the passions that drove men and women to own this work, as well as the philistinism that led them to almost destroy and lose it. Lewis tracks the vicissitudes of the highly secretive art market across five centuries, a twisting tale of geniuses and gangsters, double-crossing and disappearances where we’re never quite certain what to believe.

Ben Lewis talks to Kirsty Lang